I have struggled with weight all of my life. But I am a female, and I grew up in the 1990s, and played a lot of sports. Who did you picture in your head? A big girl, who you thought, probably played goalie on her team sports. Or, you thought a girl with anorexia, bulimia or a similar eating disorder. Essentially, I said “I struggled with weight and played a lot of sports” and you put me in one of two categories: BIG or SMALL. Body dysmorphia or emotional eater. But I am neither of these things. I am the median, the average, the normal girl walking down the sidewalk. Before you shout your outrage at me that “I haven’t struggled” or “I don’t know what it’s like”, let me explain. 

I have spent months meticulously counting calories, only to have gained weight. I have spent months eating whenever and whatever I liked and lost weight. I have not exercised because I swore I looked thinner; I have run 80+ miles a week because I swore that slimmed me down. I have not figured out the right equation for me that equals a perfect body. Has anyone? 

But something struck me recently, in my quest for this “perfect body.” Everyone I spoke to about working out would answer my quips with “ugh if only I liked it like you do!” or “if only I had time” or “if only xxx” and fill it in with the statement that is applicable to you. 

So many people I know, sit around complaining about their looks, their weight, their this and their that, yet they make excuses at every turn about why they can’t fix what’s broken. Recently, I tried to convince a friend to just try exercising. Anything. Find what makes you happy, what passes the time, what gets your 20 minutes in and gets you out of the gym. Seriously. 20 minutes. 

I am training for a half marathon now and a full marathon later this year. I love running. But I don’t love it every day and it has taken me years (and I am far from done) to figure out what makes me tick. A good trail. Fun clothing. New music. Breaking up the monotony. Telling myself that running over 9 minute miles is not breaking the international running code for former cross country runners/athletes. Being okay with running less then 2 miles. Feeling ACCOMPLISHED when running less then 2 miles. 

See, for me, it was all about HEALTHY and HAPPY this time around because I was over hating my body and hating what it couldn’t do for me. I wanted to wake up and love what I’ve got. I don’t (it’s obviously a work in progress), but I’m getting there. And my message is that you should too. 

Find a machine or a class or a walking trail or a dog. Get yourself out there or get yourself moving. No one ever felt worse after exercising (long distance runners don’t take that statement TOO seriously, we push ourselves too hard), in fact, emotionally you always feel better. And knowing you accomplished something great and something new? That rocks too. New confidence! Onwards and upwards and let’s focus on being healthy instead of being skinny.


One of Those Days

I want to crawl back in bed, and pretend like word doesn’t exist.

I’m dreaming about college and how you could just ‘take a personal day.’

I’m exhausted.

But I really need to go on a good run that gets ya going.

I think my job is really boring.

I can’t stop thinking about you and that’s making this everyday mundane life hard. Because somehow, everything is brighter when you’re standing next to me.

That scares me. If I lose you, how would I recover from that notion? (And I think to myself: it would be okay. it would be okay. you would make it okay.) See how I prepare for the worst?

See how the most basic post ends up about you?

The Moment

I don’t know when it will be, but I think in a few months you’ll ask me “when did you know?” 

And I’ll say…

I knew when you showed up at the bar, the very first night, after I ditched our first date.

I knew when you said I threw up on you, and you hugged me, and whispered it was cute. 

But really, I knew because I get butterflies thinking about you & me.

I imagined it would be something like this, but this is better & way worse & terrifying & dizzying & overwhelming. 

I knew when you cried, and I wanted to hold you tighter and never let you go.

I knew when you sent me a ridiculous photo of yourself, and I thought it was cute.

I knew when you asked me what was wrong, and I actually told you.

I knew when I wanted to go down on you and I didn’t really care if we had sex afterwards. 

I knew when we stayed up until 3 am the first few nights you stayed over, and I felt like there was still so much more I could know about you. 

I knew because there was never a moment I doubted it. I knew because there was no question in my mind. I knew because I knew. 

Then you walk r…

Then you walk right through the doorway
You tell me you’re here to stay
The worst is gone and by God I love
If you’d been here this way

And I only just learned how to stand like a man
I’ve got 25 years of running instead
How could I see the ground at my feet
The truth is to me that I was caught in the storm
[but] that I wasn’t alone

Airborne Toxic Event – The Storm

I never knew.

I think I’ve known you my whole life but maybe I just met you yesterday. 

Touch me, touch me, touch me. 

How have I never, ever felt like this before? 

Did my ex’s feel like this or was I also only this shadow of an experience? 

Sorry every ex-boyfriend I’ve ever had, you were only a shadow of an experience.

WTF have I been doing with my life, putting up with these shadow of experiences? But then, how could I have known? 

I’ve never been more sure of anything than I am about the way I feel about you. 

That scares the shit out of me. Let’s move on.

I almost can’t get work done because I spend half the day thinking about how you might not love me, and the other half of the day thinking about when and how I can touch you next. This is killing me; but this is what I wanted. 

“We wrapped our dreams in words and patterned the words so that they would live forever, unforgettable.”

— Neil Gaiman

Why We Can’t Be Friends

The September night was almost beginning to feel cool, and we were riding in your brand new car. I was quietly staring out the window, remembering all the ways I wasn’t in love with you, but so desperately wanted to be. You were mad at me. Finally, you spit out “Do you even want to be with me anymore?”

I didn’t respond. The fissure between us widened to a canyon in that instant. “You don’t do you? You can’t even look at me. Jesus Christ.” I didn’t know how to form the words, my mouth was so dry. My stomach hurt, and I was so worried you might start crying. I just shook my head a few times, until you got really mad. You started screaming. Then I started crying. You pulled the car into my apartment complex and turned the engine off. We sat there until you said “well, I guess this is it.” I looked at you with tears streaming down my face and said “this can’t be it.”

For those looking in, our relationship was perfection. We were more than good together, there was something that just worked with us. The camaraderie was instant and a lot of fun. But when you touched me, I didn’t shiver, there was no tingly feeling. I could sleep at night without you, in fact, I preferred it.  We would have sex, and I insisted that I just ‘didn’t like cuddling’ afterward, so that I didn’t have to touch you in any sort of emotional capacity. I couldn’t call you my boyfriend, because, I wasn’t that into relationships or commitment. We would have arguments and I would shut down, refusing to tell you what was wrong, because ‘I had emotional growth problems.’ When I didn’t orgasm during sex, I would be pissed at you. One long car ride, we discussed the difference between “fucking” and “making love” and laughed at all those schmucks who ‘made love’ – “HAHAHA what does that even mean?” we chortled to each other – fucking is the only way to go. I refused to give you blow jobs. I ‘didn’t like holding hands.’

I believed everything I told you. Because you were my best friend.

Then I met him.

I get butterflies thinking about him. I hate when I have to spend the night without him. Sex is this insane emotional journey every time – and even if it is not making love, I feel deeply when I do it. Holding hands is my favorite thing to do, because that’s acceptable touching in public, and I constantly crave that. When I’m upset, he can convince me to tell him what’s wrong with one “C’mon, do it for me” plead. His skin brushes mine, and I get this overwhelming feeling that I need to hold him and never let him go. Everything I thought I would never have (because I’m emotionally distant, stunted, and a commitment-phobe), I have with him.

So when I texted you “happy 4th” and you responded with “just don’t” – I get it. You felt all those things for me; I never even knew those were possible. You see me with him, and it is your living nightmare (because now I know what mine could look like). And I’m sorry. I want to be friends with you so desperately, because you were my closest friend. But I understand. We can’t be friends.

A Poem

I used to be good at this.

I’d open a blank sheet of paper and my thoughts would tumble onto the page, into neat little stanzas.

I used to be depressed.

My sadness would dig into my brain and pull out similes, metaphors and amazing alliterations.

I used to think about death. All of the time.

Death would push me to write what I could not say.
Death crept around the crevices of my soul, and consumed the paper as I sat.

I used to hope writing would take away all of my pain.

My poetry was beautiful and haunting, detailing a teenagers suicidal thoughts.

I realized I had to find my own happiness.

And it wouldn’t be on a page, where I contemplated all of the issues that made me that way.